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Sawdust and Steel Brewery Opens Doors

The Sawdust and Steel Brewery in Three Forks is officially open for business.

The business located at 123 W Elm Street opened its doors to the public on October 7 and will be open daily from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Owners Cody and Kari Ham, who currently operate a construction business and develop warehouses, were looking for something creative and more local to do.

"We are pretty passionate about beer. We spent a lot of time traveling around to breweries and thought it would be an exciting venture to do something a little less ridged than the usual construction work, and we wanted something a little closer to home to spend time on," Cody said.

With two younger kids who are four and seven months old, Cody discussed the importance of having a business that was close to home.

"Bridge construction is a 24/7 on-the-road job. It is also difficult and not a very personable job. Having the ability to provide a good time for people seemed like it would be rewarding and a good change of pace," Cody said.

The idea behind the establishment's name came to fruition during a long road trip. Cody said they put together five or six ideas that reflected their lifestyles and those around them. They would take a vote, with Sawdust and Steel finishing as the top choice.

"Our lives have been full of drywall, framing, and concrete since we were kids. I grew up in (Gallatin) Gateway, helping my dad build our family home from the age of about 10. My wife's dad is a contractor, her brother is a contractor, we are contractors, and all our friends were contractors," said Cody. "It is what we do and how we got to the point where we could build this place, so we wanted to celebrate that. Three Forks is a town full of construction and farm folks, so we thought it was fitting."

According to Cody, they enjoy experimenting, and the menu will have a very diverse range of beers. During the October 7 opening, Sawdust and Steel had a Dunkelweizen, American Wheat, Pale Ale, Blonde Ale, three different sours, and his favorite, the Headwaters Hazy IPA.

"We have 12 taps and will eventually have maybe seven or eight consistent beers with four or five rotators. We also have a few non-alcoholic options, like root beer and spindrift. We plan on having a full-time food truck once we find someone willing to do so," Cody said.

The new building also incorporates and preserves the history of bridges in the Gallatin Valley.

"We are a bridge contractor in our other lives and, over the years, have taken down many historic bridges that are just amazing. I have always wanted to be able to integrate them into something just to preserve the history. So, we have integrated three historic bridges into the building: the Williams Bridge over the Gallatin, built in 1892; the Varney over the Madison, built in 1897; and the Meridian Bridge, built over the Jefferson in 1912. It really came out cooler than I had originally envisioned, and I can't wait for everyone to see it," Cody said.

Before the official opening last Saturday, Cody said they were able to do a soft opening on October 4 for contractors, suppliers, friends, and family.

"It was absolutely packed. It was a great time. We are looking forward to providing a good time for the residents of Three Forks," he said.

Describing the journey over the past two years to open the business as a labor of love, Cody said it was built mainly on the weekends.

"The folks at the city, lumberyard, and batch plant have been very accommodating with our hectic schedules and needs. People stopping in have had nothing but good things to say, and it's been a great experience. We hope everyone has time to come experience and enjoy our efforts," Cody said.

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